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Finding Seconds to Save Lives

by on May 19, 2014

Redlands – The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services continues to work towards the implementation of the most sophisticated earthquake early warning system that could potentially save millions of lives. Based on a whole community approach, today Cal OES hosted a second workshop in San Bernardino County to inform stakeholders of the state’s vision regarding the public-partnership component of the project, an implementation strategy and how to build on existing capabilities, including a strategy for outreach program goals; engagement of the private sector, utilities and transportation agencies; funding support; and other issues.

The first workshop was held on May 7 at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo. “California has been working on an earthquake early warning system for many years,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “Technology has improved, so now is the time to get this capability in place and a system that we can count on and be proud off.”

Earthquake Early Warning WorkshopCalifornia’s initiative is to enhance the California Integrated Seismic System to address earthquake early warning in our state.  The strategy in moving forward is to involve all sectors of society and have a collaborative effort in state, private, and public cooperation.

“We are glad the state of California is enthusiastic to complete the earthquake early warning,” said USGS Acting Director Dr. Suzette Kimball. “We have a commitment to build an earthquake early warning for the entire west coast and this project is definitely a stepping-stone for a national capability, which will enhance our ability to build resilient communities.”

From the industry perspective, the Coachella Valley Regional Earthquake Warning System (CREWS) and the Seismic Warning Systems explained their current systems and how they were developed to be functional and sustainable. Once the system is implemented, it will give people a chance to seek safe shelter, train operator’s time to begin stopping trains and factory supervisors the opportunity to stop machinery that could be irreparably damaged or cause dangerous spills in an earthquake.

Yet, the biggest challenge will be to educate the public so they know how to respond when the alert arrives, similar to fire drills. EEW001“Rapid warnings to government officials, first responders and the public about a potentially damaging earthquake could reduce deaths, injuries and property losses,” said Ghilarducci “We still have to remember to be prepared, by having an family emergency plan, having your emergency preparedness kit ready and practicing drop, cover and hold on.”

The California Integrated Seismic Network has been the baseline for the state’s ability to assess earthquakes that occur, Cal OES is looking at getting the information out sooner so that people are empowered to make decisions to protect their lives.

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on HalGood's Blog.

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